Why the Feds’ COVID-19 Testing Program is Not Enough
In a response to another surge in COVID-19 cases, the United States Federal Government has reinstated a program though which all American households can get four free COVID-19 tests.
The free tests are nice, and testing should be a part of the wider pandemic plan from the Biden Administration. After all, if someone takes a test and finds that they test positive, then they know to stay home instead of going out and spreading COVID to other people. However, four free tests are not enough if the Biden Administration is truly serious about slowing the spread. It’s woefully and fatally inadequate.
They need to make sure that every American household gets N95 masks.
The reason is simple: our health care experts say that N95 masks offer the highest level of protection against the pandemic—higher than any other kind of mask. It would therefore be in the best interest of public health if leaders, starting with the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as well as his advisors, took actions that reflected the science when it comes to masking and protections. This means making sure that every American household gets N95 masks.
Would every American who got an N95 mask under such a program wear one? Sadly, almost certainly not, although if every American did so, we would go a long way towards slowing the spread of the current “tripledemic” of COVID-19, RSV, and flu.
However, such an initiative would do two things: first, show that the tripledemic is worth taking seriously; and second, give those who are willing to wear a mask access to the highest-quality of mask possible, so that at least those who do care about the continued existence and deadliness of COVID-19 can put themselves in the best position possible to slow the spread. It is a policy that would save lives.
Regardless of whether the Biden Administration does the right thing, we as individuals should. We should find the highest-quality masks we can, and use them in public indoor settings as well as crowded outdoor settings. Doing this will save lives, particularly among our youngest and oldest Americans.